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Civilian displacements in the Vanni

Reports coming in from sources in Kilinochchi district shows that military operations in the district have led to mass displacements of the civilian population living in the Vanni. In the past 3 weeks, approximately 9,000 families (approximately 40,000 individuals) were displaced from areas close to the FDL (Manthai East) towards Northern part of the Vanni […]

Some Gruesome Experiences: Memories of July 1983 by DEW Gunasekara, Minister of Constitutional Affairs and National Integration

From my Diary Notes written in Cell No.1, Negombo Remand Prison, (July 31st-Sept 24th 1983)   I had my own gruesome experience of the Black July. It was 29th July at midnight that I received a telephone call from my friend and party comrade AJMO Dr. Indra Kumar of his father’s sudden death by a […]

Pricking the conscience on reminiscences of ‘Black July’

by Austin Fernando In July 1983, my Accountant Mr. Vallipuram at the Cooperative Department lived off Castle Street where his neighbour was a notorious Sinhalese thug. Until ‘Black July’ Vallipuram once told me that, that thug was the ‘assailant select’ in his mind, whenever he feared a racial riot. When violent crowds ‘visited’ him early […]

July 1983: Looking back in anger and despair 25 years on

Photo by Chandragupta Amarasinghe ONE What happened in mid-1983 and in the last week of July 1983 was obscene, a monumental atrocity, a disaster for Sri Lanka. In a context marked by the push for self-determination by the principal forces representing the Sri Lankan Tamils and an armed underground insurgency involving restive youth in the […]

My name is Cedric. Do you remember me?

July usually passes me by without too much notice, beyond the vague worry that there might be a Tiger attack on Colombo, and a few flashbacks to that weekend in 1983. But this time it’s been a bit different. I’ve found myself reliving that day a lot more this year. It isn’t the fact that […]

TNA MP Mr. R. Sampanthan remembers the events of July 1983

Tamil National Alliance MP Mr. R. Sampanthan speaks of the anti-Tamil riots of July 1983. Speaking of the “terrible experience for all Tamil people in Sri Lanka” he says that the riot was “premeditated pogrom… largely believed to be with the support of very influential forces within the then government”. He notes that there were […]

AFLAME – Remembering Black July, 1983

AFLAME – Remembering Black July, 1983 What is a poem to a man hiding in the cellar of his neighbor’s house, breathing the way his hostess spices lentils and mutton, while son and daughter keep quiet, not one word allowed in the mother tongue, and wife strokes her neck, the golden wings of her thali, […]

Tide turning?

Gajaman Nona Ryszard Kapucinski is no armchair observer. As foreign correspondent for the Polish Press Agency, he witnessed 27 coups and was sentenced to death four times in his lifetime. In his book on the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini, Shah of Shahs, he notes that: “despotic authority attaches great importance to being considered strong and […]

Going for the Kill in More Ways than One

What does the failed abduction attempt against Namal Perera of the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI), which turned into a brutal assault on him and his friend Mahinda Ratnaweera , Political Officer at the British High Commission, tell us about the Rule of Law, human rights protection, the culture of impunity and law and order […]

When servants of the people become oppressors in Sri Lanka

In the Republic of Sri Lanka, sovereignty is in the people and is inalienable. We elect a President, Members of Parliament, and Provincial Councilors etc using the powers vested with the people to exercise and enjoy that sovereignty through them.  But what is happening today is the reverse. We elect a bunch of people into […]

Terror is spreading in the South

Abductions continue Abductions continue unabated and last week five persons all of Tamil identity were abducted from the Kotahena area. Meanwhile threats to abduct and kill intellectuals seem to have started as well. During the Qing dynasty in ancient China all intellectuals were either killed or exiled since they were considered to be a threat […]

Impact of the Batticaloa Conflict and the situation of Muslims

The Kattankudi Jamiyyathul Ulama had requested all the newly elected Muslim members of the Eastern Provincial Council to boycott its inaugural session to highlight the demand of strengthening security of the Muslim community in the east. Ethnic violence has flared in the east between the Tamil and Muslim communities since the EPC polls were conducted […]

Much Ado about Eastern Democracy?

After one cease-fire, two formal peace talks, three wars, we wade deeper into Eelam war IV, and we’re back at square one. Or is it we never left? Over 2000 deaths post-2006. Post-tsunami, over 700,000 refugees upon a decimated Northeast bloated with bone and shades of displacement. Unidentified gunmen, parcel bombs, white vans, lurk in […]